After posting their first win of the young season against Hillsboro on Sept. 2, the Litchfield Panthers boarded the bus to Pawnee on Labor Day and encountered an experienced varsity lineup who laid down 21 kills in a two-set scuffle that resulted in Pawnee’s first win of the season.
The Indians scratched out a 25-20 first set win and followed it up with a 25-18 decision in the second to capture the match win. The junior varsity Indians also posted a 25-17, 25-23 straight set win.
Playing in the MSM Conference, the Indians opened their season at Central A&M on Aug. 30 and lost in straight sets before dropping their first home match to Springfield Lutheran in two sets on Aug. 31. They lost to New Berlin on Sept. 2 before finding their stride against Litchfield. The loss dropped the Panthers’ record to 1-4.
They look to get back on the winning track tonight when they host the Piasa Birds, starting with a freshman match at 5 p.m. The varsity Panthers will compete in the Montgomery County Invitational Tournament at Lincolnwood on Sept. 10 with opening pool play matches against Staunton, South County and Vandalia while the freshman/sophomore Panthers play in a tournament at Pawnee on Saturday.
Pawnee Coach Casara Marsaglia described Monday’s non-conference match as a good, tough match. She credited her varsity squad with great hustle to the ball, getting in the proper position to make a play, communicating well, maintaining a high energy level and being the aggressor throughout the match.
Maddy Beyers, one of seven seniors within the Pawnee lineup, led the team in points with nine. In addition, she also recorded a block and had 21 assists. Senior Jordan Watts was the in kill leader with seven followed by senior Sarah Olson with five.
For Litchfield, sophomore Annika Rhodes spearheaded the Panther attack with five kills and two defensive blocks at the net. She was aided by junior Blair Johnson who had three kills and two blocks, while senior Taylor Brakenhoff collected two kills and two blocks.
Juniors Emma Walch and Carlee Harmon each had a kill as did sophomore Kendall Stewart. Walch also dished out seven assists and senior Ashley Hickerson recorded five.
Johnson led the team at the service line with nine inbound serves followed by Stewart with six, Rhodes five, Walch four and Brakenhoff three. Sophomore Amy Frerichs recorded five digs.
September 6 at Pawnee
Litchfield 20 18
Pawnee 25 25
Serves In/Out: Blair Johnson 9/1, Kendall Stewart 6/0, Annika Rhodes 5/0, Emma Walch 4/1, Taylor Brakenhoff 3/1, Carlee Harmon 0/1. Aces: B. Johnson 1, A. Rhodes 1, K. Stewart 1. Attack Attempts/Kills: A. Rhodes 10/5, B. Johnson 13/3, T. Brakenhoff 7/2, K. Stewart 6/1, E. Walch 4/1, C. Harmon 3/1. Digs: Amy Frerichs 5, K. Stewart 2, E. Walch 2, A. Rhodes 2. Blocks: C. Harmon 3, K. Stewart 2, A. Rhodes 2, T. Brakenhoff 2, B. Johnson 2. Assists: E. Walch 7, Ashley Hickerson 5.
Service Points: Maddy Byers 9, Kayleigh Cobb 5, Jordan Watts 4, Hailey Koyne 3, Madison Baka 2, Lexi Wilson 1, Sydney Galloway 1. Kills: J. Watts 7, Sarah Olson 5, H. Koyne 3, K. Cobb 3, S. Galloway 3. Assists: M. Byers 21. Blocks: J. Watts 5, S. Olson 2, H. Koyne 2, M. Byers 1, S. Galloway 1.
Records: Litchfield (1-4), Pawnee (1-3).